The three theme answers are clued identically...Enjoying an outing, of sorts...20A (on the golf course), 39A (playing eighteen) and 56A (hitting the links). Aside from some of the basics (Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead), I don't know a whole lot about golf...but these were easy enough for the likes of me.
And that one reminds me of one of my father's favorite golf jokes. Three guys are out playing eighteen holes. A funeral procession passes by, and one of the men stops, bows his head and makes the sign of the cross. His friends are amazed and say, "Gee, Bob, I didn't know you were so devout." Bob nods his head and says, "Well, she was a good wife."
Not to worry...I won't quit my day job.
Favorites answers in this puzzle include:
15A: Di or da preceder in a Beatles song (obla). You know I love all things Beatles. I also loved the clue.
17A: "What __ Did" (classic children's book with a punny title) (Katy). That reminds me of a rather old song. "What did Delaware, boys, what did Delaware? She wore a brand New Jersey..." Does anyone else remember it?
18A: __ Spee (old German warship) (Graf). The parenthetical addition was much appreciated. When I see Spee (by itself), I picture Smee...from Peter Pan.
19A: Catcher's position (squat).
23A: "Gets the red out" sloganeer (Visine).
51A: Edit (revise).
1D: Comic Smirnoff (Yakov).
8D: Port of Israel (Jaffa). Didn't know...guessed right.
9D: Treat leniently, with "on" (go soft).
10D: Talkativeness (loquacity)...is that a beautiful word?
27D: Ad infinitum (no end).
33D: Former Connecticut governor Grasso (Ella). She was the first woman governor of Connecticut, as well as the first woman to be elected governor who was not the wife or widow of a governor. According to this article, she resigned from her second term because of ovarian cancer, and died just a few weeks later. I didn't know that.
35D: "I can't blame anyone else" (my mistake).
37D: Latvia's capital (Riga).
41D: Georg who wrote "The Philosophy of Right" (Hegel).
I brought work home and I need to spend at least another hour on it, so I'd better wrap this up. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.